Home » Customer Advice » NHS Picks up £22 Million Dental Care Bill Thanks to Clueless Parents
Dentist and Dental Assistant examining Young Girl teeth. Dentist is a Male, Assistant and Patient are Females. Patient is a Young Girl, she's Smiling and not scared of Dentist.

NHS Picks up £22 Million Dental Care Bill Thanks to Clueless Parents

New research by My Dentist, the UK’s largest dental group, has today revealed how a lack of understanding amongst parents on the importance of early dental care is leaving the NHS with an estimated £22m annual bill. The survey of over 2,000 UK-based parents highlights how dental disengagement has left over 1 million children aged eight and under still waiting for their first trip to the dentist. Additionally, over 700,000 children who have been to the dentist have had at least one filling, each at a cost of £31 to the Department of Health.

These findings demonstrate an urgent need for more initiatives for educating and engaging parents and their children on oral health and the importance of looking after their teeth properly from a young age.

Many parents failed to take their children to the dentist early enough with 57% of respondents not going until after their first birthday, considerably later than when teething starts, despite almost 50% reporting no barriers to doing so earlier. Furthermore, only a quarter (26%) of children brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes per session.

The survey also highlighted how lack of dental engagement may be contributing to parental confusion around positive factors for oral health and free treatments available on the NHS:

      • 20% incorrectly thought that fruit smoothies were good for their child’s teeth
      • 20% incorrectly believe that sippy cups are good for their child’s teeth
      • 1 in 8 parents (13%) incorrectly said fluoride is bad for their child’s teeth
      • Nearly a third (31%) were unaware of free NHS treatments available to kids such as fluoride varnishing

In response to these issues, My Dentist has launched a new nationwide Kids Club to provide parents and children with better information aimed at tackling dental disengagement and ensuring the best possible start to kids’ early dental experiences. Key initiatives of the programme include:

        • Kids Club App: Innovative digital resource to educate, engage and reward children
        • My Little Book of Big Smiles: In-depth parental resource available online and in-practice to educate on early dental health
        • Kids Club Dental Unit: Mobile facility to introduce kids to the dental practice environment  and increase access through more effective community engagement
        • Free Brushing Aids: Two minute timer to encourage kids to brush their teeth for the recommended duration

Commenting, Barry Cockcroft, Former Chief Dental Officer for NHS England and Non-Executive Director at My Dentist said: “Early dental care can be a confusing, daunting issue for many parents. As an industry we must work harder to ensure the best and most appropriate resources are available. Better education must support the significant access improvements the industry and its relevant stakeholders are making, in order to build a system where the key drivers of prevention and treatment can work effectively together.

“At My Dentist we want to be at the forefront of this evolution. Today’s launch of our Kids Club initiative is a crucial first step. We will deliver innovation to our patients and change outdated perceptions of the sector through providing a service that has the hallmarks of professional expertise, trust and long-term relationships offered nationwide through modern, transparent and convenient patient delivery.”

My Dentist’s website, includes the downloadable My Little Book of Big Smiles is accessible at www.mydentist.co.uk.

About Martina Mercer

Martina Mercer is a freelance marketing consultant copywriter and author. She combines her psychology and business expertise to deliver copywriting services and advice on the consumer journey to many big named brands. Her real passion is writing and you'll find her articles and books all over the web along with a few awards she's won, such as The Working Mum of the Year 2014. She always loves to connect and is always open to new opportunities so don't hesitate to get in touch through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email. Martina is also the editor of Sunday Woman Magazine the luxury lifestyle mag for over 30 women with a brain :)
x

Check Also

Tax refund

Business Tax Advantages You Could Be Entitled To

As a business owner, you know that keeping tax costs low is essential. Organised book ...

radiator 5

Which Fuel is Best for a Woodburning Stove?

Woodburning stoves are increasingly taking pride of place in living rooms and areas across Britain. ...

radiator1

Energy Differences Between Radiators – Which is Best?

As the nights draw darker, there’s one subject on everyone’s mind. Energy costs. It seems ...